Tag Archives: Independence Day

Christmas in July

Today marks the start of what I call the period of “mixed feelings.” While I’ve enjoyed the six weeks since school ended, I have just six weeks before the Fall semester starts up, and almost that much work to do in preparation for my classes. And while summer just officially arrived less than two weeks ago, this July also indicates that we are now headed down the second half of the year. It’s weird…we count down to summer, and before you know it, we’re counting back up to winter. And with that…Christmas!

Lest you think I’m one who can’t live in the moment, let me explain.

I don’t know where the phrase “Christmas in July,” came from. But after working in the music industry for almost two decades, I do know that most artists record their Christmas albums this month. Why so early? Well, it’s obvious. To get the recording completed, mastered, packaged, promoted, and shipped/distributed in time for the post-Halloween but pre-Thanksgiving radio play of the first single, and to take advantage of the short sales period, they have to start working on it in July. Just like fashion designers are already planning to showcase their spring and summer 2017 lines this fall, so that you’re ready to purchase them in season.

During my summer vacation, the local Hobby Lobby in the town where I was visiting friends already had not only their Autumn display, complete with Halloween pumpkins and Thanksgiving wreaths, but also two aisles of Christmas decor up exactly 24 hours before the Summer Solstice!

Even the Hallmark Channel has figured out a way to get in on the craziness. For the first two weeks of July, their Movie & Mysteries channel will air their Christmas movies from past years, while promoting the new ones coming up this holiday season (which for them, traditionally begins on Halloween night).

But rather than fight against it, why not take advantage of it?!

This weekend, you can begin finding some awesome sales on two seasons of stuff — the summer season we’re in, and the winter season that’s still over five months away. Retailers are moving summer out to make room for the fall. Along the way, they’re putting last year’s winter items back out, in the hopes of not having to warehouse it, so that they can fill the racks with the new season’s display. If you’re like me, it’s just too hot outside to get in the right frame of mind to purchase a winter coat in July. But for those who know you’ve got at least three full months of great weather conducive to the outdoors, then why not take advantage of drastic price reductions on summer — like bathing suits and beach towels, clothes and shoes, outdoor patio furniture and accessories (like outdoor pillows and rugs), outdoor lighting and candles, grills, and even air conditioners.

For those of you who took advantage of the mid-summer mark downs last year, I’m sure you enjoyed pulling out your summer patio chairs with the new cushions that you got for 50% or more less than your friends; and putting up that table umbrella that cost you 60% or 70% less than the one your neighbor bought in season. And this week, when everyone paid full price for those red, white, and blue flag colored plates for their Independence Day festivities this weekend, you pulled that box out from the closet that you collected  paper plates, cups and napkins in from last year, and gladly signed up to provide the paper products for all of the cookouts and picnics you’ve been invited to! Because you are not just a smart shopper, but you understand the value of saving money and making it a purposeful act to plan ahead.

So to you, and everyone else, Happy 4th of July Independence Day everyone!

 

Why Shopping this Weekend Could Save You Lots of Money

Tomorrow is our nation’s 239th birthday anniversary. Happy Independence Day! Celebrate the importance of the day. Hang out with friends and family, and enjoy cookouts and outdoor games in the neighborhood.

But after you get that electric ice cream maker going, and before you throw those hamburgers on the grill — GO SHOPPING!

This 4th of July weekend kicks off one of, if not THE, best times to shop for summer.

Why wait until July to shop for summer items? That’s easy. Because our retailers have become so obsessed with what I call “season jumping” that they put seasonal items on sale in the middle of the actual season the items are intended for, desperate to make space for items of the next season! For those of us in the South, that means summer’s out, and Fall’s Back to School items are in. The commercials have already started running!

You need more sunscreen, citronella candles, tiki torches, planters, lawn and patio furniture, outdoor fans and even grills? Head over to your Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and other stores like that. Want some colorful outdoor pillows, unique outdoor lanterns, lighting, and picnic items like plastic plates, utensils, and cups? Go check out places like Target, Pier 1, and even a grocery store like Kroger.  Remember, those red, white, and blue napkins aren’t just be for the holidays. Grab on-sale red today, use for a Christmas or Valentine’s gathering later. Blue? White? Anytime!

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But maybe you don’t need any more outdoor living supplies. This weekend is also great for buying summer clothing and shoes. Tank tops, shorts, sundresses and sandles have to go to make room for the more school-appropriate pants, skirts, tops and even sweaters. Yes, some retailers rack sweaters in their stores in August!

For the South, although our kids return to school by the second week of August, we still have three more months of hot-to-warm outdoor living. So that retailer rush that traditionally kicks off over the Independence Day weekend, is a great time for you to take advantage of the often 50%-75% off for things you need anyway, or can buy now and use next summer!

And don’t forget your gift closet. Grab some items now to give as gifts later — birthdays, Christmas, weddings, hostess, coaches, and babysitter gifts. Or just treat yourself. I did during the Bath and Body Semi-Annual Sale (still going on now), with bath, body, and home items up to 75% off. Why not send some of those wallflowers off to college with your coed for their dorm room? They’ll probably appreciate it. Or get a new calming candle for your office? Or hand lotion for your purse.

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No, I don’t own stock in any of these companies (but maybe I should). I just want to make sure my friends spend wisely. And there’s nothing like catching sales today for something you might need tomorrow and saving money in the process because of your advance planning for it all!